The Faces of Our Organization



Founder & Board President

Zachary R. Longden is a native of Taylorville, IL, and a resident of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He graduated Summa Cumme Laude with a B.A. English Language and Literature from Southern New Hampshire University. He holds a 120-Hour Master TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certifiation from Bridge Education Group. As a youth, he volunteered with Key Club International where he gained experience fundraising for various nonprofit organizations. His passion for youth development began during his four years as a volunteer with Big Brother's Big Sister's of America. He applied much of what he learned from these experiences to his work as an educator in Japan as well as various volunteer endeavors in South East Asia. It was during his first volunteer experience in Vietnam that he saw how much of an impact acquiring English language skills had on an individuals opportunities in developing countries. Mr. Longden is currently working to develop SpeakLink's presence in Vietnam. 


Board Vice President

Ngoc Duong was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Now, as a senior at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas, she is excelling in graphic design. Ms. Duong provides valuable insight into education in developing countries allowing SpeakLink to create the most useful and effective programs.



Board Secretary

Krystal D. Baker is a lifelong resident of Taylorville, IL where she currently owns and operates a hearing health business. She is a licensed practical nurse, and a licensed hearing instrument specialist. Mrs. Baker has a passion for helping others and advocating for language development of all regardless of physical or cognitive abilities. She has won several professional awards, and her business was voted as one of the best hearing health clinics in her service region. As an early leader in SpeakLink's development, Mrs. Baker contributes valuable guidance, and has been vital in creating a solid foundation in which our organization can continue to operate. 

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Thet Tun Aung

Director of Architectural Development

Thet Tun Aung received the Bachelor of Architecture degree from Mandalay Technological University, Myanmar in 2019. In the same year after receiving his Bachelor degree, he came to Japan for further studies and obtained the Master of Architecture degree from Waseda University in 2021. He is currently a PhD candidate in Architecture at the Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering at Waseda University. His research interests cover tropical modernism, passive design, vernacular architecture, and community development. He has been practicing as a freelance architect since 2018 and participated in several architecture competitions. He received multiple awards and scholarships for his outstanding performance in academic works. Most notably, he is the winner of the B.Arch. Design Thesis Competition organized by the Association of Myanmar Architects (AMA) in 2018.